A few days ahead of the by-election, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray released an audio clip
, purportedly of Fadnavis asking BJP workers to use all possible means to win the by-election.
Subsequently, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut launched a scathing attack on Fadnavis
, saying that the chief minister is full of arrogance. "We have all seen that in politics, even a dog starts considering himself a tiger after coming to power," Raut had told agencies.
In response, the BJP targeted Shiv Sena
for "not acknowledging" the "achievements" of the Narendra Modi government in the past four years.
BJP Sena's 'biggest political enemy'?
The chasm between the Sena, one of the oldest allies in the NDA, and the BJP grew further after the announcement of by-poll results.
"Our country can no longer be called the largest democracy in the world. EVMs have spoilt the democracy. Those in power at present have made democracy their mistress with their autocratic mindset," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.
Following the results, the party had even termed BJP its biggest "political enemy"
Sena shares dais with Opposition
Although Sena's relations with the BJP have not been cordial for quite some time now, the party had always indicated that it would not move into the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) camp. Invited to H D Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony as Karnataka chief minister a few days before the by-polls, the Shiv Sena had politely declined to share the stage with other Opposition leaders.
However, the party is now reportedly willing to share the dais with the Opposition. The Times of India reported that the Shiv Sena on Sunday shared the dais with the Congress, the NCP, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) to protest against the Modi government's flagship bullet train project at a programme organised in Palghar.
With agency inputs